Singapore Premier League • October 16, 2015
Young Tigers Halt Losing Streak With Convincing Victory
Written by: Shawn Lim
Harimau Muda ended their five-games winless streak when they beat Geylang International 2-0 at Hang Jebat Stadium on Friday night.
The victory for the Young Tigers meant that they continued to stay out of the bottom three of the Great Eastern Yeo’s S.League table with 24 points while the Eagles remained stuck at the bottom of the table.
The home side got off to a dream start when Faizat met Akhir Bahari’s cross and headed a bullet header into the back of the net in the fifth minute.
The Eagles had a wonderful opportunity to grab a goal back just two minutes later when Jozef Kaplan made a darting run to the near post to meet Anaz Hadee’s cross from the right flank, but poked the ball wide of the woodwork instead.
The nippy Faizat almost added a second for the Young Tigers in the 22nd minute when he made a neat turn on the edge of the edge of the 18-yard box, but fired the ball just wide.
Seven minutes later, Faizat found himself free in the box after the Eagles failed to clear a loose ball, but Geylang custodian Yazid Yasin rushed off his line to claim the ball before the striker got a shot off.
There was a scare for the hosts in the 41st minute when goalkeeper Farhan Abu Bakar dropped the ball from a routine cross, but recovered in time before the lurking Tatsuro Inui could captialise on his error.
The Malaysian side continued their assault on the Eagles’ goal and could have added a second three minutes before the break. Arif Anwar found himself unmarked in the box but shot the ball over instead with Yazid stranded.
Geylang came out firing after the break and almost scored the equaliser in the 47th minute when Harimau Muda failed to clear their lines, but Hafiz Nor’s dipping piledriver from the edge of the area flew just over the top of the crossbar.
Farhan was then required to thwart Hafiz’s rasping drive in the 59th minute before Inui fired the rebound over with his weaker right foot.
A counter-attack by the visitors on the hour mark ended with Bruno Castanheira sending a low cross across the box for Hafiz, but the latter saw his shot blocked and turned out for a corner kick.
The Young Tigers missed another opportunity to increase their lead against the run of play in the 69th minute when Faizat raced into the area and sent the ball just wide despite having only Yazid to beat.
The usually dependable Yazid subsequently made two uncharacteristics errors in quick succession, one of which he was punished for.
In the 76th minute, the 36-year-old sent his goal kick straight to a surprised Akhir, but was let off the hook when the latter’s shot bounced off the upright of the goal post.
Five minutes later, Yazid rushed off his line and brought down Arif Anwar in the 18-yard box as referee Ahmad Al’Qashah immediately pointed to the spot.
The 20-year-old striker then picked himself before sending the resulting penalty into the back of the net to put the hosts further ahead.
Although the Young Tigers ultimately failed to add to their tally despite having a few chances to score in stoppage time, they were able to hold out for the remainder of the contest to claim maximum points.
Harimau Muda: Farhan Abu Bakar (GK), Amirul Ikmal (Syahrul Azwari 63’), Asri Mardzuki, Syawal Nordin, Annas Rahmat, Irfan Zakaria (Muhd Naim Zakaria 85’), Ariff Farhan, Amirul Hisyam (C), Akhir Bahari, Faizat Ghazali, Arif Anwar (Syazwan Andik 90’)
Geylang International: Yazid Yasin (GK), Kento Fukada, Nor Azli (Shah Hirul 71’), Hafiz Osman, Syed Thaha (Huzaifah Aziz 66’), Tatsuro Inui, Anaz Hadee, Mustaqim Manzur (Khairulnizam Jumahat 81’), Hafiz Nor, Jozef Kaplan (C), Bruno Castanheira